To that end, let's all be respectful of the opinions of others. While issues of translation will always be somewhat more subjective, please understand that what you may not be bothered by might bother someone else a lot - on the other hand, things that bother you might not seem like a big deal to anyone else. As games are experiences meant to be enjoyed and things like this, no matter how small or large, can hinder that experience for some, I think we should just open this by accepting everyone has a valid opinion here and this is largely going to be a conversation about preferences, I imagine. In other words, don't start trashing or dismissing others based on their praise/criticism.
Lastly, though I should think this goes without saying, nothing we say is going to matter here. The game is coming out and there's nothing a bunch of guys and girls on the internet can do to influence it.
So, without further ado, let's get started! The first topic of discussion: Effole > Ethel.
To start off, here are NISA's thoughts on the matter:
The_Dood_Abides wrote:So the reasoning behind changing Effole to Ethel is as follows:Spoiler:In Japanese, Effole has one pronunciation: Eff-oh-ruu. Pretty straightforward. But this name does not exist in English, so when you apply the conventions of spoken English to that name exactly as it's spelled, there are many different ways this name can be pronounced depending on which syllable is stressed (EFF-ole vs. eff-OLE) and the acoustics of the vowels in the name (AY-fole, EEE-fole, eff-OOL, etc.).
Now I believe the most natural sounding version of the name is EFF-ole, and if this game had no voice acting at all, I would've left the name as it's spelled and let the player's imagination determine how the name should be pronounced. Case in point, Sabin in FF3 (FF6 in Japan) can be pronounced SAY-bin, Sa-BEENE, SAHB-in and these pronunciations are all technically correct because there's no standardized pronunciation that the characters are expected to adhere to in-game, so the player gets to dictate for themselves how they think this name is pronounced.
(I know that Sabin's name in FF3 is actually the result of a localization change, and that in FF6 he's actually called Mash, but work with me here.)
But because this name doesn't exist in English, and this game has voice acting, and multiple characters say her name throughout various scenes, it quickly became apparent that the most natural sounding version of this name (EFF-ole) still felt and sounded unnatural when spoken aloud in English. In fact, it pretty much sounded like the name Ethel if it were spoken with a harsh lisp, which I felt distracted from the scenes in which her name is openly mentioned. So for ease and consistency of pronunciation across the various voice actors who were required to say this name, I made the call to split the difference and just have her be called Ethel outright. It's phonetically similar to her original name, it's a common enough name among English-speakers that the pronunciation is more or less universal, and it doesn't have the distracting lispy tic that I mentioned earlier.
To be honest, I kind of expected that this change would be met with a mixed reaction. This sort of snag when it comes to localizing names is fairly common, and when it happens, it's my job to work with my translator partner and make a decision that I feel is in the best interest of the finalized product. You don't have to agree with my reasoning or like the decision I've made, but I hope that my explanation provides a greater understanding and insight into how decisions like this are made, and that they're not made lightly but rather after serious thought has been put into it. Rest assured, just because her name is Ethel rather than Effole does not mean that the qualities that are actually fundamental to her characterization have been changed. She's still the menacing, soft-spoken, adorable assassin in our localization that she was in the original Japanese. She just goes by Ethel now.
I really don't want to this thread to degenerate into complaints about the name change, so let's stay on topic from this point forward. If you still want to discuss this matter with me, you're more than welcome to PM me with questions that my explanation perhaps did not address.
So, there you have it! Now, keeping the "rules" in mind, let's get to it guys!